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Psy.D in Psychology, Magna Cum Laude, California Southern University, Costa Mesa, 2017

MSW, Concentration in Mental Health, California State University, Sacramento, 1988

B.A. in Psychology1986, University of California, Los Angeles, 1986

Board certifications

American Board Certified Bariatric Counselor INTL # 430, 2018

American Bariatric Advisory Board Member 

Emotional Freedom Techniques, Level 2, 2018

Dialetrical Behabior Therapy Board Certified #722456

Professional experience

Psychotherapist, Private Practice, San Luis Obispo, California, 2017 - present

Specialize in the treatment of anxiety, life transition challenges, stress management, compulsive eating, diabetic mental health distress, and provide pre-operative bariatric surgical evaluations and post-operative surgery support.

Psychotherapist, Sage Psychotherapy, Sacramento, California, 2016                                                                                                          Provided treatment for patients with anxiety disorders in an intensive outpatient setting using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.


Consultant Psychotherapist, Concord College, Shrewsbury, 2008-2011                                                              

Assessed and treated students with Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa.


Psychotherapist, Private Practice in Oswestry, Shropshire, UK, 2008-2011

Specialized in eating disorders, grief and loss, and life transitions.


Psychotherapist, Central Coast Treatment Center, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, California, 2005-2007

Intensive outpatient program for eating disordered clients.  This involved the completion of initial evaluation for admission, participation in the weekly treatment planning process and the facilitation of group therapy. Supervised marriage and family therapist interns and associate clinical social work interns for their hours towards licensure.


Psychotherapist, Private Practice in Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo, California, 2005-2007

Specialized in eating disorders, grief and loss, spirituality development, and finding meaning in the second half of life.  Also provided initial assessment and post-operative counseling to bariatric surgery patients.


Psychotherapist, Private Practice in Sacramento, California, 1991-2005

Specialized in eating disorders, substance use disorders, grief and loss, spirituality development, personality disorders and relationship dynamics for individuals, couples and families.  Facilitated long-term psychodynamic eating disorder groups and a spirituality awakening group for women.  Also, provided consultations to other clinicians on treatment of eating disorder cases in addition to carrying out initial assessment and pre/post counseling for bariatric surgery patients.


Director of clinical services, Summit Psychotherapy Associates, Sacramento, California, 2000-2001

Entrepreneur of an intensive outpatient program for individuals who suffer from anorexia and bulimia nervosa.  Provided clinical guidance, direction, and supervision to the program and to employees.  Additional responsibilities included performance of fiduciary duties as Chief Financial Officer of the corporation, marketing the program, and providing group, individual, couples and family therapy to program participants.


Psychotherapist, Charter Hospital, Roseville, California, 1994-1995

Facilitated group therapy for a partial hospitalization program in addition to preparing treatment and discharge plans.


Clinical director, Sacramento Outpatient Services, Sacramento, California,1993-1994

Duties included the clinical direction and management of an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program. Also undertook decision making for program content, charting, treatment planning and facilitating a couple’s therapy group.


Clinical Social Worker for Adolescent and Adult Program, Sutter Center for Psychiatry, Sacramento, California,1988-1993

Responsible for the application of psychotherapeutic methods for individual, family and group therapy in addition to the co-ordination of treatment planning with a multi-disciplinary team and conducting primary case management for adolescents and adults.  Also, acted as a debriefing team member for the fire and police departments, interfaced with community resources and supervised MSW interns.  In addition, I specialized in family dysfunction (including chemical dependency) and the treatment of eating and stress related disorders.


Drug and Alcohol Counselor Advanced Training, Roseville Recovery Center, Roseville, California,1990-1991

Carried out group, family and individual work, applying the 12-step approach with adults in all phases of drug and alcohol treatment (detox, inpatient, outpatient, day treatment and aftercare services).


Teaching experience

American Association of Bariatric Counsellors, 2022

Wrote a research-based module for the certification of bariatric counsellors on weight regain and treatment options post bariatric surgery.

Brandman University, Santa Maria, California, 2019

Instructor - taught the counselling process to students in the Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology degree program.

Coursework covered the major concepts and practices of the contemporary therapeutic systems and ethical and professional issues in the counselling practice.

Speakeasy English Program, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2012-2014                                                                                                        Taught disadvantaged Portuguese speaking Brazilian teenagers conversational English in both spoken and written form through interactive activities. The program reaches out to over 80 students in three diverse communities.                                                      


Chapman University College, Santa Maria, California, 2007

Taught in-depth course on theories of health psychology, illness behavior and behavioral medicine.  Addressed the mind-body relationship, multi-cultural concerns, and current and future health treatment models.


Sutter Center for Psychiatry, Sacramento, 1992-1993

Instructor for Stress Management Education Course

Addressed the biological, psychological, occupational and developmental origins and responses to stress.  Taught techniques to handle stress including deep breathing, mindful awareness, exercise, nutrition, progressive relaxation, imagery, assertive training, refutation of irrational ideas and time management.



Selected speaking engagements

Guest speaker for Dignity Health Pacific Coast Health Centers in San Luis Obispo, California (May 2019)

"How to maintain motivation for long term success to post weight loss surgery patients"

Guest speaker for Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration 33rd Annual Conference, Denver, Colorado (May 2017)

"The synthesis of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with short-term psychodynamic psychotherapies"


Michelle is a featured author (2021)on (this is a website that is dedicated to the education and empowerment and support of all individuals affected by obesity).

Matoff, M. (2021). After a binge, feed yourself a healthy portion of self-compassion., August 2021

Matoff, M. (2021). How not to swallow verbal toxicity., March 2021

Matoff, M. (2021). Exercise does not have to be a dirty word: Make exercise work for you., February 2021

Matoff, M. (2018). Circumstances to Integrate Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Short-Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapies. Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology (5).

Matoff, M., & Matoff, S.  (2001). Eating Disorder Recovery:  A Case Study of Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating, Purging Subtype. Journal of Women and Therapy, 23(4), 43-54.


Matoff, M.  (1997, September). Group Therapy for Treatment of Eating Disorders. Wins News, 9.


Matoff, M. (1997, January). Group Therapy as a Treatment Modality for Eating Disorders.

California Society for Clinical Social Work, 2-4.


Professional memberships

Member of American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS)

Member of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS)

Member of the California Society for Clinical Social Work (CSCSW)

Member of the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration (SEPI)

Meditation Instructor Certificate #3254611 (March 2017)

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) #15900 (Since February 1991).

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